Most trips to Egypt will most likely start and end in Cairo. Luckily this capital of Egypt is a bustling city, thriving with rich culture and history so there’s no shortage of things to do.
From wandering through the oldest bazaar in the Middle East to spending an afternoon taking in the wonders of the Pyramids of Giza, there is something for every traveler visiting this ancient city. Here are top 10 things you have to do in Cairo.
1. Pyramids of Giza
I feel like this is obvious so we’re just going to get it out of the way first. If you do nothing else in this city, you MUST see the pyramids. I didn’t go inside them because after extensive research, most people said it wasn’t worth it so we decided to save our money for another excursion. Don’t forget to take a picture with the Sphinx!
2. Great Egyptian Museum
This museum is a great place to learn all about the ancient history of Egypt, see real mummies and the famous coffin and treasure excavated from King Tut’s tomb!
3. Wander through Khan el-Khalili
As the oldest bazaar in the Middle East, Khan el-Khalili has no shortage of character. As you walk through the narrow streets, stop in the shops and barter for some souvenirs. (never pay full price! they expect you to barter!)
As you make your way through the market, your senses will be filled with the aroma of spices and sizzling meat – try some! There’s no greater way to immerse yourself in the culture.
4. Dinner cruise down the Nile on a felucca boat
If you’re traveling to Egypt you might as well go all out and this is guaranteed to make a memory you’ll never forget.
5. Visit a papyrus shop
Papyrus was the chief writing material in ancient Egypt. It was then used by the Greeks and then Romans so you could say the Egyptians were the original trend setters 😉 Take some home for your own personal souvenir!
6. Sample authentic Egyptian perfume
In addition to papyrus, Egypt is also known for their perfume and fragrances. My husband and I went into one of the fragrance shops and they let us sample so many different perfumes and oils. This honestly was one of my favorite things we did in Cairo. It was so unique and such a fun experience.
They gave us tea, let us sample fragrances and walked us through the process of making the perfumes. Did you know most of the perfumes/fragrances we have in the US and abroad come from Egypt but they are diluted down to only 2-5% of the actual scent? The fragrances in Egypt are 100% providing an aroma unlike anything I’ve ever smelt before. We left with 6 bottles of perfume and oil!
7. Ride a camel
If you’ve never ridden a camel then there’s no greater place to do it than at the Pyramids of Giza. Just be sure you agree on price BEFORE you get on the camel so you don’t get scammed!
8. Explore Old Cairo
In Old Cairo you’ll find the neighborhood of Coptic Cairo, a Christian stronghold during the Islamic era. Here you can explore the Hanging Church and the Babylon fortress and learn about the Holy family’s journey through Egypt when they fled Israel after Jesus was born.
9. Take photos at Cairo Citadel
The Cairo Citadel is a sight to see. Especially at sunset!
10. Eat dinner at the Revolving Restaurant
Located at the top of the Grand Nile Tower hotel, the Revolving Restaurant slowly rotates in 360 degrees around a rotunda every hour and a half giving you a complete and astonishing view of the city of Cairo. This is a fantastic way to end your trip here.
For more guides and tips on what to do in Egypt see my Ultimate 5 Day Itinerary Guide HERE
Check out my 24 Hours in Luxor Guide HERE